35 Shuffle

Finding a preferred option within a group while minimising people advocating for personal preference

This is a useful techniques for making democratic decisions in a group, such as choosing between multiple options, but without people advocating for their own favoured option. It involves individuals privately assessing many different possibilities and then the comparing the overall group result.

For example, consider a group choosing where their first case study site should be.

Each person in the group writes their preferred option on a card.

The moderator might check at this point that all the options are unique. If there are duplicates, either:

Everyone gives their card to someone else.

If possible, this should be someone they don't know. Make sure everyone has a new card and nobody has two or more. Tell people they will hold onto this new card for the rest of the exercise.

Each person reads the option on their new card and scores it out of ten.

Each person asks someone else to score the option on the card they are holding.

Note that cards are not exchanged. Aroha asks Enid for a score, but continues to hold the card until the end of the exercise. Also note that a person who made a suggestion can not score that suggestion.

Repeat this last step until every card has five scores OR everyone has scored all eligible options.

Hand the cards to the moderator and compare scores.

Discuss as a group this order and use to make a decision on options.

Get the group to talk about the options. Do people agree that the highest scoring option(s) are preferable. Why or why not?